21 Day Post Op, Right Side Still Swollen, Not Dropping. Was the Implant Pocket Not Big Enough?

21 Days Post Op. I got smooth Saline Mod Profile Implants placed under the muscle. My right side has been high/swollen since my surgery. It feels a little softer but doesn't seem to be dropping. I've gone to my PS every week since my surgery and he said I am just very swollen and it will just take time to drop. My left side dropped during week 1. I had 400 cc on left & 425 on right. Could the implant pocket not be large enough? I love my Dr but just want a 2nd opinion.

Doctor Answers (9)

Los Angeles Breast Implants


Hello and thank you for the question.

In evaluation of your breast augmentation photographs, your results look good.  The right side looks a bit higher than the left, I agree, but at 3 weeks you are still very early in the healing process, and settling of the implants will take several weeks and up to months.  It is very common for settling to occur in an asymmetric time frame so I wouldn't place too much concern in the asymmetry at this stage. As my colleague suggested, I would continue with the exercises as directed by your physician.  I would also consider using a band strap. Consult with your doctor if you have more concerns.


Kindest regards and best of luck,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Breasts Heal At Different Rates After Surgery


After surgery, it is not uncommon for one breast to take longer to heal and settle than the other.  If you have a smaller breast to start out with, that breast needs to stretch more and accomodate a larger implant.  Because of that, the tissues are tighter to start out, the breast will feel firmer, and there will be more swelling.  Subsequently, it takes longer for it to achieve its final volume and shape.  At this point, just be patient and everything should balance itself out over the course of the next month or two.  I hope this helps.

Christopher V. Pelletiere, MD
Barrington Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast Augmentation Recovery


If there is one rule in the recovery after breast augmentation, it is that the right and left side will behave differently. One side may be more swollen, painful or take longer to drop. If you think about it, why should they behave exactly alike. In my experience, breast implants seem to take 2-4 months to settle into their final position, and sometimes even a little longer. Also, saline implants seem to settle in a little slower than silicone, but that has just been my own observation. As long as you are making some progress, I wouldn't worry so early in the recovery process.

Joseph Fata, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

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21 Day Post Op, Right Side Still Swollen, Not Dropping. Was the Implant Pocket Not Big Enough?


Based upon your photo I see an excellent early result. I bet you are right handed! Do more massages on the right side to have it fall a little more. Otherwise love your result. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
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Will my implant drop?


Sometimes being patient is the hardest part of the recovery process - it can take up to 3 months or more for the implants to settle and the swelling to finally resolve.  Massage and/or a band can sometimes help the process. 

Michelle Spring, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
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21 days post op


You are still early in the recovery process.  The implants will drop into the pocket that was created during surgery and massaging the implants downward will assist in the dropping of the implants after surgery (for those patients who want to help with the settling of the implants).   Normally, it takes about 3 months (for some patients longer) to see the final result.  It is VERY COMMON for one side to settle faster than the other.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 751 reviews

How Long Does It Take For Implants to Settle?


Breast implants that are placed in a submuscular position or in a "dual plane" (partial submuscular) tend to ride high at first.  It  is not unusual to have one ride high and the other a little lower at first.  An implant stabilization band, gentle massage and patience are needed. It can take between four weeks to four months for the implants to settle into the lower portion of the pocket that was created at surgery. This will likely be a very good result!

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Wait three to four months

When breast implants are first put into your body, they typically sit higher up in the chest. This is because it’s the path of least resistance – your body requires some time to adjust to their presence, regardless of whether they’ve been placed in a sub-mammary (between breast tissue and chest muscle) or sub-muscular (under both the breast and chest muscle). Immediately following surgery, you’ll find that your newly enhanced breasts appear very full and swollen, especially in the upper portion above the nipples. Your skin will most likely look very tight and your nipples may point slightly downward as well. This may make the shape and overall appearance of your breasts appear unnatural. As your body accommodates to your new implants, you’ll notice that your breasts will gradually look more and more natural. Over the course of about three to four months, your body creates new skin to accommodate the additional volume of your implants. This natural process is called “tissue expansion”, and relieves the tightness you may be experiencing. It allows for the implants to settle more into a better position with the help of gravity. A gradual redistribution of volume from the upper to the lower breast occurs, resulting in an enlargement and rounding out of the lower breast. This can happen faster in one breast than the other, and this is probably what is happening to you.

Although it's often called "dropping", it is more like "redistribution". The "fluffing" part refers to the impression that the lower breast enlarges and that your skin softens with the creation of new tissues. The extent to which this occurs depends on several factors, including the implant size, the tightness of your skin, and your body shape.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

21 days after breast augmentation is early


Your breast will continue to change and improve for the first several months, and 21 days is just to early to judge. I am curious however as your one implant has a very rounded upper edge and just perhaps the implant is not under the muscle. You can check yourself very easily.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.